Andrew Martin

Journalist and novelist Andrew Martin is the author of the 'Jim Stringer' series of novels based around railways. He has written for the Independent on Sunday, the Evening Standard, the Sunday Times and the New Statesman among others.

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Wiggins: His accident might dent the enthusiasm of converts to cycling

You don't have to copy Bradley Wiggins. There is a better way

Walking has amazing health benefits (as well as being free), writes Andrew Martin

Why ‘Dad’s Army’ still makes us laugh

For all their fractiousness, they really are all in it together

Bonfire Night is our annual celebration of folk justice and this year's Fawkes is Lance Armstrong

In an increasing number of communities, Guy Fawkes has been sidelined in favour of a more topical victim - but where to locate a solid liberal perspective in this anarchy?

The Rolling Stones in the early days

Andrew Martin: Against the odds, the Rolling Stones have turned into role models

Those of us born in the year and month of the Rolling Stones' first gig (July 1962) tend to feel we somehow exist in a spin-off from their energy field. But surely even those not so closely tied in to their odyssey would welcome the almost-official news that they will be playing gigs in London and New York in November (this on top of rumours of a new album).

Tranquillity: St Giles, Imber, Wiltshire, a place of worship since the 13th century

Andrew Martin: I have a confession to make - I go to church

Our writer applauds a new report that says religion makes people happier, denies that religion is irrational, and wonders why his friends are so resistant to it

Taking the waters: Bottle-huggers Natalie Portman and Robert Pattinson

Andrew Martin: A nice cup of tea beats bottled water every time

The unnecessary accessory we began to eschew is trickling back into favour. Our writer tries to understand the appeal of fashionable plastic

Those were the days: The Seventies used to hum with the sound of men and their power tools

Andrew Martin: Real men carry power tools - or they used to

Falling house prices and the loss of a make-do-and-mend attitude have done for DIY. But our writer misses the sound of Sunday-morning sawing

Andrew Martin: We're so afraid of dying, we don't dare live

Our writer was a swot, but even his boyhood was reckless

Andrew Martin: I'd let the French run our trains

Their approach to railways is at once hard-headed and romantic
Mars has shrunk its bars, but what will it do with the Duo?

Giant snacks – meant for two, eaten by one

Andrew Martin chooses the smaller bar – and no sharing

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Machine Gun America

The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons
The ethics of pet food: Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?

The ethics of pet food

Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?
How Tansy Davies turned 9/11 into her opera 'Between Worlds'

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Tansy Davies makes her operatic debut with a work about the attack on the Twin Towers. Despite the topic, she says it is a life-affirming piece
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It could be the first thing you see in the morning, so make it work for you. We find night stands, tables and cabinets to wake up to
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Italy vs England player ratings

Did Townsend's goal see him beat Kane and Rooney to top marks?
Danny Higginbotham: An underdog's tale of making the most of it

An underdog's tale of making the most of it

Danny Higginbotham on being let go by Manchester United, annoying Gordon Strachan, utilising his talents to the full at Stoke and plunging into the world of analysis
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Steve Bunce: Inside Boxing

Audley Harrison's abusers forget the debt he's due, but Errol Christie will always remember what he owes the police
No postcode? No vote

Floating voters

How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public
'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

Vince Cable interview

'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat